May 26 2013 Latest news:
Friday, January 28, 2011
A TEENAGER accused of murdering a partygoer in a revenge gang attack told the Old Bailey he was in bed asleep at the time of the killing.
Iyoula Yfeko, 19, claimed he was at home less than a mile from where 20-year-old David Cauchi-Lechmere was stabbed to death.
Jurors have heard how the fight started after trouble erupted at a birthday party in Henry Addlington Close, Beckton.
Mr Cauchi-Lechmere was targeted after he and his friends chased a rival group away from the party in the early hours of July 11 last year.
A witness later identified Yfeko as one of the mob who returned to the scene to take revenge, it is claimed.
But Yfeko insisted that he had been mistaken for Junior Emmanuel, 18.
Emmanuel has since admitted that he claimed to be Yfeko after going to the party with Yfeko’s older brother, Losimba, 20, the court heard.
Iyoula said: “I am wrongly accused.”
Asked why he had not told police that he had been mistaken for Emmanuel, he said: “I knew I was innocent. I didn’t have to bring no-one into it. The phone evidence shows I was at home.”
Iyoula claims he was in bed asleep at 3.15am when he saw he had been called on his mobile phone.
He then went to meet his brother near the scene of the murder and was told there had been a fight, the court heard.
Yfeko said: “He told me some boys tried to rush him.”
He said his brother asked him to go to Henry Addlington Close and see if their friends were safe.
Yfeko told the court he saw police cars and paramedics and thought someone had been stabbed.
Prosecutor Oliver Glasgow claimed that Yfeko had “lied and lied and lied” during a police interview when he claimed his brother had also been at home.
Yfeko replied: “Same as the way your witnesses have lied and lied.”
He rejected claims that he was at the party and had received phone calls from his co-defendants shortly before the murder.
Yfeko said: “It’s not my fault if someone rang me. I didn’t answer the phone.” He asked the prosecutor: “How did I get to the party?”
Mr Glasgow said: “You lived less than a kilometre away, you could have walked.”
Yfeko replied: “You can’t say I was at the party.”
Junior Emmanuel, 18, Nathan Jones, Iyoula Yfeko, and Tobi Egunjobi, all 19, Lewis Wilson, Matthew Ginesi, Losimba Yfeko, Jerome Taylor and Meshach Francis, 20, are all said to be part of a “Beckton group”, while the victim and his friends were from nearby Bow.
Mr Cauchi-Lechmere was stabbed four times in the chest after becoming separated from his friends.
He underwent emergency surgery in the street in a desperate attempt to save his life but died from his wounds in hospital later that day.
The Yfeko brothers, both of Derifall Close; Wilson, of Oxleas; Ginesi, of Oxleas; Taylor, of Oxleas; and Egunjobi, of Tunnan Leys; Jones, of Downings; and Francis, of Winsor Terrace, all Beckton; and Emmanuel, of Covelees Wall, East Ham; deny murder.
Jones admits violent disorder. All the other defendants deny violent disorder. The trial continues.